Monday, April 29, 2013

Force lake

Looking out at the night sky in the countryside we see the great wonders of the universe as if within the grasps of our own hands; yet there are things in this world so wondrous that many scientists dedicate their lives to studying the environment here on Earth, often going to far off places to learn more of how things are far away from our homeland.  Frequently we find ourselves so wrapped up in the things away from us that we overlook the great treasure troves that lie here in front of us, to study and appreciate without having to travel so far, use so much time on just getting there, or having these journeys so sparse or at such great sacrifice in time with our family that only one completely dedicated could find a way to do so.  So many would go to Yellowstone Park, or travel to Niagara to see natures wonders when just within a few strides lays such marvelous richness.

Recently I have come upon such a place, where I dream I could spend much time getting to know the local flora and fauna, and looking up its history.  People love a good story with something they are learning; teaching through storytelling is a way that we connect ourselves with the past, either with a place, an idea, or a people long gone.  This helps to grow memorable features and personalities which we feel a need to share with others who later go there with us.

Force Lake is a wildlife habitat area in Northern Portland.  This picture was taken from the MAX which I take everyday on commute to Hillsboro.  Many ducks and geese fly here on their bi-yearly journey, going to warmer lands for the Winter, and coming back during the Spring.

Last year I went hiking at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon; though it is far away, and has many majestic views with splurging waterfalls and a mighty river formed by the runoff of snow, its tranquility takes much effort to afford, and is often crowded with many people seeking to enjoy the same scene.  I have found a certain peace that comes while in the crazy commute of everyday life that comes near the end of this ride on Portland's light rail; where most people have already gotten off this train I am left in the serenity of my own thoughts, to look up and see sites such as these.  It is that same feeling when you are helped by an unexpected hand which belongs to some stranger in the woods, or the laugh of a child who runs up to and smiles which can wipe away the worst of moods.  Sometimes you just look up and smile.

I stand in awe and wonder of the journey that's been made, from some unknown material which erupted to forms stars which eventually died, not by flickering out, but going in a supernova, then through the last 4.7 billion years or mixing, and evolving, now I can see the clouds in the sky at sunset over this wildlife preserve.  Though we live on a humdrum pale blue dot revolving around a nuclear fission powered star, this is my pale blue dot, and my chance to live and appreciate what must have transpired before me for there to even be a me to appreciate it.

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